Sunday, April 8, 2012

Creation and Covenant

I argued in Plain and Precious Things that the recurring combination of the words "peace" and "rest" indicate that the Worship of the Shalems had a Genesis 1 creation component as well as a Matthew 5-7 covenant and instruction component.

3 Nephi shows us how they were joined.  In the lands of the Nephites there is a great (re)creation, followed by darkness specifically identified with mists of darkness, which we saw in 1 Nephi 8 represent temple incense, and then singing (mourning, weeping, howling and groaning).  After this comes the voice of the Lord with the invitation to come forward, and later the covenants and instruction (chapters 12ff).

So 3 Nephi 8 shows us as the same moment that Job does, when at the end of the work of creation, the morning stars sing and the sons of God shout for joy.  The same moment appears in Isaiah 14, when, after great destruction, "the whole earth is at rest" (this is the state at the end of the period of creation) and then "they break forth into singing."  In Isaiah's vision what has just happened is that Lucifer, "son of the morning," has just been cast down in his aspiration to ascend to "heaven" -- a perfect thing to recount in the transition between the angelic work of creation and the beginning of the shalems' own ascent into heaven.

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